Des­per­ate ap­peal for Great North­ern Show vol­un­teers


FOR 132 years, the Rochester Great North­ern Show has been a high­light of our town. Now, it’s strug­gling on life sup­port. But show com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Scott Somerville isn’t about to let it die.

He’s urg­ing lo­cals to lend a hand and save this lo­cal gem.

‘‘We very nearly pulled the pin last year, we were strug­gling badly due to low vol­un­teer num­bers,’’ he said.

‘‘The show used to be held over two days — Fri­day night and all day Satur­day — but last year we had to re­duce it to just Satur­day.

‘‘Now, we don’t even have a sec­re­tary or a trea­surer.

‘‘Af­ter 132 years, it would be tragic to see it come to an end.’’

Scott be­came in­volved in the show 30 years ago.

A keen entrant in the cat­tle com­pe­ti­tions, he thought he’d help out as well.

Now also deputy chair of Vic­to­rian Agri­cul­tural Shows, Scott has watched shows across the state die off one by one.

And he’s do­ing all he can to keep Rochester’s alive.

‘‘Shows are be­com­ing a thing of the past,’’ he said.

‘‘And sadly, as agri­cul­ture suf­fers, so too do shows.

‘‘If people are strug­gling to wa­ter and feed their cat­tle, they of­ten don’t have the money to get cat­tle ready to show.’’

But Scott em­pha­sised the pos­i­tive im­pact shows had on towns.

‘‘This town’s had a fair kick in the guts over the past few years with Mur­ray Goul­burn clos­ing. But shows bring joy and keep people in the town talk­ing and mix­ing with one an­other,’’ he said.

‘‘And while we want to keep see­ing the Rochy show im­prove, we need the man­power.

‘‘If you don’t want to join the com­mit­tee, we need people on sub­com­mit­tees such as cat­tle and horses. And if you can’t make meet­ings, we would love some help at the show it­self.’’

To get in­volved, call Scott on 0408 846 221 or visit the Face­book page for Rochester’s ‘Great North­ern Show’.

‘ Af­ter 132 years, it would be tragic to see it come to an end’ — Scott Somerville

Scott Somerville wel­comes any of­fers of as­sis­tance.

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